Post List

Social Science posts

(Modify Search »)

  • June 15, 2011
  • 04:16 PM

To Be or Not to Be Monogamous?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

What does it mean to be monogamous?Sexual exclusivity between two partners?
A two-party partnership, characterized by cooperation where resources are shared and children are produced?
A genetic commitment to producing offspring with a single partner?
A social system in which only two people are contracted to marriage at a time?
Or is it perhaps some combination of these four?
For some people, establishing yourself in an exclusively committed relationship where you wake up next to the same perso........ Read more »

Curtis, J. Thomas, & Wang, Z. (2003) The Neurochemistry of Pair Bonding. Current Directions in Psychology, 12(2), 49-53. info:/

Fuentes, A. (1998) Re-Evaluating Primate Monogamy. American Anthropologist, 100(4), 890-907. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1998.100.4.890  

  • June 15, 2011
  • 02:34 PM

A Ray of Light on Stonehenge

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

If you have ever suffered through an episode of “Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel, you might believe that every megalithic structure in the world was constructed by extraterrestrials:

Apparently inspired by the show, one credulous soul posted this question over at “Can scientists prove that Stonehenge was not built by ancient astronauts?” The pithy [...]... Read more »

Ray, B. (1987) Stonehenge: A New Theory. History of Religions, 26(3), 225. DOI: 10.1086/463079  

  • June 15, 2011
  • 07:08 AM

Quo Vadis, SCRM?

by Jan Husdal in

This is a well-researched and methodologically sound article, which brilliantly sums up the core topics and clusters of supply chain risk management and how they have developed since the early 1990s, and where SCRM may be headed to in the future. That said, it is an article that is not totally without flaws.... Read more »

  • June 15, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

“For $15M, I’d marry a saber-toothed tiger!”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Family law cases are almost always sad. They are typically filled with issues of bitterness, betrayal, rejection and character. And if those aren’t distressing enough under normal circumstances, in Texas—if you are rich enough and angry enough—you can have a divorce trial in front of a jury. Recently as we did a focus group on a particularly [...]

Related posts:Charlie Sheen or Tiger Woods? When behavior doesn’t fit the image
Choosing to either disgust your jurors or tick them off
Go........ Read more »

Vazire, Simine, & Carlson, Erika. (2011) Others sometimes know us better than we know ourselves. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(2), 104-108. info:/

  • June 15, 2011
  • 12:15 AM

Cultural Evolution and the Impending Singularity

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Prof. Alfred Hulber is an actual mad professor who is a danger to life as we know it. In a talk this evening he went from ball bearings in castor oil to hyper-advanced machine intelligence. However, will hyper-intelligent machines actually give us a better scientific understanding of the universe, or will they just spend their time playing tetris?... Read more »

Sperl, M., Chang, A., Weber, N., & Hübler, A. (1999) Hebbian learning in the agglomeration of conducting particles. Physical Review E, 59(3), 3165-3168. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.59.3165  

Bettencourt LM, Lobo J, Helbing D, Kühnert C, & West GB. (2007) Growth, innovation, scaling, and the pace of life in cities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(17), 7301-6. PMID: 17438298  

Chater N, & Christiansen MH. (2010) Language acquisition meets language evolution. Cognitive science, 34(7), 1131-57. PMID: 21564247  

  • June 14, 2011
  • 07:30 PM

Breaking rules makes you seem powerful

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Breaking the rules to rise to power: how norm violators gain power in the eyes of others From Social Psychological and Personality Science  When people have power, they act the part. Powerful people smile less, interrupt others, and speak in a louder voice. When people do not respect the basic rules of social behavior, they [...]... Read more »

Van Kleef, G., Homan, A., Finkenauer, C., Gundemir, S., & Stamkou, E. (2011) Breaking the Rules to Rise to Power: How Norm Violators Gain Power in the Eyes of Others. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550611398416  

  • June 14, 2011
  • 04:50 PM

Categorising languages through network modularity

by Sean Roberts in The Adventures of Auck

Today I've been learning more about network structure (from Cris Moore) and I've applied my poor understanding and overconfidence to find language families from etymology data! The analysis suggests a split between Germanic and Romance languages.... Read more »

Aaron Clauset, Cristopher Moore, & M. E. J. Newman. (2008) Hierarchical structure and the prediction of missing links in networks. Nature 453, 98 - 101 (2008). arXiv: 0811.0484v1

  • June 14, 2011
  • 04:50 PM

Categorising languages through network modularity

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Today I've been learning more about network structure (from Cris Moore) and I've applied my poor understanding and overconfidence to find language families from etymology data! The analysis suggests a split between Germanic and Romance languages.... Read more »

Aaron Clauset, Cristopher Moore, & M. E. J. Newman. (2008) Hierarchical structure and the prediction of missing links in networks. Nature 453, 98 - 101 (2008). arXiv: 0811.0484v1

  • June 14, 2011
  • 04:30 PM

A Better World Through Video Games

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

Over the last few years evidence has been mounting that violence in the media and especially interactive media such as video games contributes to aggression displayed by individuals.[1] This ability to influence our behaviour in such a way is concerning and may undermine attempts to build a peaceful society that nevertheless respects a person’s right [...]... Read more »

  • June 14, 2011
  • 09:03 AM

Getting around by sound: Human echolocation

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

By Greg Downey
As any fan of the adventures of Daredevil, being blind in comic books can give you superpowers.  Matt Murdoch was blinded by a radioactive accident that he befell because he tried to save a blind pedestrian from the truck carrying the waste (ah, the irony…). Murdoch developed a kind of ‘radar’ sense that allowed him to prowl Hell’s Kitchen, rooting out the miscreants and lowlifes who, like the blind Man Without Fear, preferred to lurk in the dark.
Although his personal li........ Read more »

Nagel, T. (1974) What Is It Like to Be a Bat?. The Philosophical Review, 83(4), 435. DOI: 10.2307/2183914  

Pascual-Leone, A., Amedi, A., Fregni, F., & Merabet, L. (2005) THE PLASTIC HUMAN BRAIN CORTEX. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 28(1), 377-401. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.27.070203.144216  

Pascual-Leone A, & Hamilton R. (2001) The metamodal organization of the brain. Progress in brain research, 427-45. PMID: 11702559  

Rosenblum, L., Gordon, M., & Jarquin, L. (2000) Echolocating Distance by Moving and Stationary Listeners. Ecological Psychology, 12(3), 181-206. DOI: 10.1207/S15326969ECO1203_1  

WORCHEL P, & DALLENBACH KM. (1947) Facial vision; perception of obstacles by the deaf-blind. The American journal of psychology, 60(4), 502-53. PMID: 20273385  

  • June 14, 2011
  • 05:28 AM

Highlights from ISIE 2011

by James Keirstead in James

Last week was the biennial conference of the International Society of Industrial Ecology, held at the lovely University of California Berkeley. At four days, plus an extra workshop for the Sustainable Urban Systems section, it was a long event but the week went quickly with a number of excellent talks and interesting attendees. Here are some of my highlights.... Read more »

  • June 14, 2011
  • 12:15 AM

Academic Networking

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Who are the movers and shakers in your field? You can use social network theory on your bibliographies to find out ...... Read more »

SAID, Y., WEGMAN, E., SHARABATI, W., & RIGSBY, J. (2008) Social networks of author–coauthor relationships. Computational Statistics , 52(4), 2177-2184. DOI: 10.1016/j.csda.2007.07.021  

  • June 13, 2011
  • 11:37 AM

Experts: Don't Cross The Line Between Confidence and Arrogance

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

Attorneys, consultants, and experts know that testimony needs to be delivered with more than just clarity and authority: It needs confidence. Jurors and judges alike are more comfortable with an expert’s testimony when it is delivered with self-assurance and conveyed with certainty. But mock jury research by Cramer, Brodsky, & DeCoster (2009) appears to show that the advantage of greater confidence is true only up to a point. Testing the effectiveness of experts at three levels of perc........ Read more »

  • June 13, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Why do the African American mock jurors all sit together?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We noted long ago that in pretrial research [where we match demographics of the venue in recruitment] that our African American mock jurors often sought each other out as seating companions. So when we are in mostly white venues and have just a few African American mock jurors, we often pair them in the breakout [...]

Related posts:Propaganda, Dogmatism & Bias: Who are your jurors?
Does your capital client “look deathworthy”?
Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
... Read more »

  • June 13, 2011
  • 12:59 AM

If you walk over a bed of hot coals, your mom might be worried about you. It’s science.

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

Sci has to say she’d have LOVED to take the data for this study. Get to go to Spain, hang out, put some heart monitors on people and watch some fire walking…sounds like a good time. Much more glamorous than my own daily life in the lab. Can I get a little glamour around here? [...]... Read more »

Konvalinka, I., Xygalatas, D., Bulbulia, J., Schjodt, U., Jegindo, E., Wallot, S., Van Orden, G., & Roepstorff, A. (2011) Synchronized arousal between performers and related spectators in a fire-walking ritual. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(20), 8514-8519. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1016955108  

  • June 12, 2011
  • 12:36 AM

Radiation and Sex Odds

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

Disclaimer: Living near a nuclear power plant is not the answer to increasing the odds of you men out there fathering a baby boy, the boy you so eagerly want to teach how to spit and play baseball. While it may seem that way, the effects of ionizing radiation reach far beyond disturbing sex odds. In February of this year, a study revealed a cause-and-effect relationship between ionizing radiation and disturbed sex odds, in other words a higher number of male infants born compared to females.... Read more »

  • June 11, 2011
  • 09:20 PM

Are Socioeconomic Health Disparities Perpetuated in Part by Public Behavior?

by Michael Long in Phased

Two different neighborhoods within the same city exhibit strikingly different levels of public smoking, drinking, and physical activity, much more than that predicted by survey and census data, with possible implications in perpetuating health disparities along socioeconomic lines.... Read more »

Daniel Nettle. (2011) Large Differences in Publicly Visible Health Behaviours across Two Neighbourhoods of the Same City. PLoS ONE, 6(6). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0021051

  • June 11, 2011
  • 01:20 PM

Pharmaceuticals And Violence

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A French study reveals which medications are most often associated with violence and aggression: Prescribed drugs and violence.The authors trawled the French records of drug side effects from 1985 to 2008. By law, doctors in France must report any adverse event which is either serious, or unexpected, to the authorities.They found a total of 540 reports mentioning "violence", but only 56 of these were clear-cut incidents of physical aggression towards others. Suicide and self-harm were not includ........ Read more »

Rouve N, Bagheri H, Telmon N, Pathak A, Franchitto N, Schmitt L, Rougé D, Lapeyre-Mestre M, Montastruc JL, & the French Association of Regional PharmacoVigilance Centres. (2011) Prescribed drugs and violence: a case/noncase study in the French PharmacoVigilance Database. European journal of clinical pharmacology. PMID: 21655992  

  • June 10, 2011
  • 03:00 PM

Too Many Laws

by Paul Statt in Paul Statt Communications

Research on health effects of distracted driving laws demonstrates that George Soros is right: " thinking has a manipulative function as well as a cognitive one"... Read more »

Ibrahim, J., Anderson, E., Burris, S., & Wagenaar, A. (2011) State Laws Restricting Driver Use of Mobile Communications Devices. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 40(6), 659-665. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.02.024  

  • June 10, 2011
  • 01:41 PM

Weiners and War Chiefs

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

By most accounts, Anthony Weiner thinks highly of himself. Filled with bravado, Weiner considers himself to be a political warrior. Regaling one 17 year old girl with stories about congressional battles, he likened himself to Superman: “I came back strong. Large. In charge. Tights and cape shit.” Weiner even took cape-less photos of his pecs [...]... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit